Batteries Not Included

Contemporary Art meets

Should you be told what to think by pretentious, self-indulgent, know-all artists?

Why are their opinions or feelings more important than yours?

Why should you be interested in art that has no interest in you?

Just as open-source developers have reacted against the high-handedness and self-interest of commercial entities, some contemporary artists have reacted against the arrogant, exclusive and self-absorbed practices of the artist-tyrant.

The antidote to both is the same: participation. As developers have sought community ownership and contributions, artists have drawn on their audience for content or production techniques, or have produced work that requires audience interaction. Ultimately, the artists aim to develop a sympathetic relationship between their work and audience by inviting interested parties to participate in the process of production.

Batteries Not Included brings together these similarly-aligned collectives by presenting, within the conference premises, six works by five artists that involve audience participation – works that without the intelligence, interest, skills, idiosyncrasies, enthusiasm and life experience of their audience, would not be complete.

Batteries Not Included was sponsored by and assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for Tourism, Art and the Environment.


Frank Zappa Project

Artist: Andy Vagg

Imagine the millions of people that travel the world each year, attending conferences, living out of suitcases, staying in hotels where daily needs, like shampoo & conditioner, are provided in small, single-use containers. Imagine if all these shampoo & conditioner bottles could be recycled to create something beneficial, like casings for laptop computers for needy children.

More information is available at

I need your help to collect as many bottles as possible, to demonstrate what one single conference can generate in just one week. Support the Frank Zappa Project today: Drop off your hotel shampoo & conditioner bottles at 2009.

Andy Vagg’s art focuses on the unsustainable practices of consumerism and capitalism. His artworks are made from post-consumer materials, sourced from local landfill or personal use.

Illbient Data City

Artist: room11

Data City is a proposal for a fully intergrated urban design network, utilising user-generated data to create alternative sources of information for shaping the urban environment. Like an urban tag-cloud, sensory experiences and everyday events (e.g. smells, tastes, loves, deaths, emotional responses) and other non-traditional data are uploaded to Data City, creating constantly evolving accessible maps of experience of public space. Outcomes of the project could include predictive planning, real-time simulation of public space and the visualisation of a wide range of unseen urban networks. Through an online discussion, room11 encourages participants of the 2009 to contribute ideas and possible platforms through which the project may move into a testing stage.

Participate at

room11 is a design firm, exploring architecture and urban design. They are interested in the potential of how open source software development can influence spatial architecture.

Limited Edition (1024K RAM Record)

Artist: Scot Cotterell

Idea: Make a vinyl record from a classic heavy metal song.

Process: A midi file of Slayer's Angel of Death is passed from a cracked version of Ableton Live, through an old drum machine, to an Atari St computer. Record it, pass it back.

Malfunction: A bootleg wary vinyl factory in Nashville, Tennessee requires extensive copyright registration. Record doesn't arrive on time.

Solution: A book of the email dialogue, the system as an austere sculpture in a strobe lit room. Remake at a later date.

....This is the remake. Abstract Diagrams. A Limited Zine. Make your own mix on a custom mixer.

Scot Cotterell is an inter-disciplinary artist with a background in Electronic Media. His work is concerned with experiential responses to popular media, music and technology.

Media Divination 3.0

Artist: Nancy Mauro-Flude

go to URL & disclose:
3 keywords.

A divination report is printed in *.pdf to

*Reveal your place in the manifold of time*

MD 3.0 employs a set of software installed by default on most of the *nix distributions. [Lynx 2.8.5, sed 4.1.5, python 2.4: implements a custom search engine to mine the textual data retrieved according to keywords and to perform date-time related sorting operations, troff 1.19.2, bash 3.1.17]

Nancy Mauro-Flude a.k.a sister0
Experimental media / performance
A member of the Church of overblown firefox tabs, her spiritual animal is the Tasmanian devil. |

Meme Machine (2009)

Mathew Oakes

Meme Machine – an open relationship (2009)

The Meme Machine generates a narrative among nodes within the world wide web. It explores structures emerging between technologies, language, media and culture. Is a global consciousness awakening?

Released under the Artistic License, you can participate in the work by downloading, running, modifying and distributing the software from

Mathew Oakes is an generative-systems artist-hacker, using experimental methodologies based around lateral thinking, inspiration and dreams rather than logic, needs and specifications.